Behind all the pretty details we share day in and day out on SMP, there are the little tasks that every bride & groom must do before the Big Day. Hiring an officiant is one of those tasks—and seeing as the ceremony is one of the most important parts of your wedding, choosing your officiant should important too. Reverend Lorelei Starbuck of Sacred Affairs is here today to give us a few pointers!

From Reverend Lorelei Starbuck of Sacred AffairsIn all the excitement of planning a wedding, most couples leave one of the most important elements until last… choosing the Officiant or Minister. The most important reason to start thinking about this early on in the process is so you can find the right person for you!

Book in advance! Many officiants like myself are booked out far in advance. I suggest trying to book at least 1 year to 9 months ahead of time. This way you can take your time and interview a few so that you are comfortable with that person.

Choosing the right person for you. I believe that your ceremony is the main event and the reception is in celebration of that event. In other words your ceremony should be the cake and your reception the icing. The words that are spoken at your wedding are the words that form the agreement you live by, so choose wisely who speaks those words for you!

Consider credentials. If you’d like a close family member or friend to perform the ceremony, make sure they have experience, otherwise it can be disastrous! The officiant is just as important as your photographer. Most professional officiants and ministers have performed hundreds of ceremonies and their polished presentation skills and can bring a sense of calm and order to your sometimes chaotic day.

Know the difference between a Minister and Officiant. A Minister, Reverend, Pastor, Preacher, Rector, Priest etc. is an ordained professional and has the education and credentials from a specific denomination. Their credentials comes from a seminary, church or ecclesiastical college. Most have had a church where they performed all the duties of a trusted spiritual leader. Along with this title comes the respect they are due for the education the experience the posses. And this translates into someone who can help you create the ceremony that is right for you.

An officiant is usually someone who has completed a course of study from an online company or college in the art of performing a wedding. There are schools that train wedding officiants with very good curriculums to back up the title and these pros will do a lovely job of presiding over your wedding. This is ok if they are honest about it and tell you up front that they are not a Minister or call themselves Reverend.

Do your homework. Ask questions, get referrals or read about who you’re working with online. Make sure that your ceremony is in the hands of someone you can trust and who will make your day incredible! Also remember there are certain legalities from state to state as to who can legally marry you. So check on line here before you hire someone!

Photography: Glen Wilbourn | Officiant: Sacred Affairs

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